In Denver, an important art exhibition from developing countries opens in Denver, along with another feature concerning sustainability and affordable water technologies. The exhibition, titled, The Art of Dirt, has been organized by Denver-based IDE The exhibition takes place at the EventGallery 910 Arts and will run through September 25.
According to IDE, The Art of Dirt allows visitors to learn how simple, affordable technology design has improved the incomes and lives of the millions of people at the base of the economic pyramid. The exhibition includes photographs, videos and a tomato garden growing in the gallery that has been irrigated using IDE water technology.
IDE, founded in 1982, strives to create income opportunities for poor, rural households in the developing world. This exhibition showcases some simple, pattern-changing technologies, such as IDE’s foot-powered treadle pump, and low-pressure micro-sprinkler and affordable drip irrigation that IDE has made available in developing countries. This technologies have helped poor, rural families gain control over their water supply and opening up a new world of income-generating possibilities.
Dealing with water technologies like these started when IDE worked in Bangladesh in the 1980s, where the lack of access to water in rural villages was a widespread problem. IDE personnel believed that manually powered irrigation pumps could solve some of the water problem and allow farmers to increase productivity. As a result, IDE increased annual sales of manual irrigation pumps from 14,000 to 75,000 in a five-year period. After that initial success, IDE found a better solution in the treadle pump, which is more efficient and easier to operate than manual pumps. To date, more than 1.5 million treadle pumps have been sold in Bangladesh, creating 1.4 billion dollars in net additional income per year.
Today, IDE uses a market oriented development model to increase the income of the rural poor by improving market access, increasing agricultural production, and creating sustainable local businesses. IDE’s projects are country specific, aimed at increasing income for those living on less than a dollar a day in the most efficient and viable manner possible according to each region’s unique opportunities.
Over the last 28 years we have worked with more than 3.8 million families, increasing their aggregate income by over one billion dollars. Kudos!